In the early days of September, Pantone announced the New York Fashion Week’s most-anticipated SS24 colours. With a surprise that had South Africans giggling internationally at the familiar term, the number 1 colour to look out for has been said to be ‘Rooibos’.
To remain true to the description, the ‘Rooibos Red’ Pantone has been described as “full-bodied red imbued with rich, woody notes” (Monteill, 2023). Our team agrees with this apt way of describing the tea that we produce, also recognising that rooibos’ colour depends on the length for which one steeps it. The colour of the caffeine-free tea itself is not the only noteworthy component, nor its delicious taste. Did you know that you can make yourself runway-ready at home, by dyeing your clothes with rooibos tea bags?
At Carmién, we knew that rooibos would have its day in the sun one day, but a whole fashion season allows for the various tones and hues of rooibos to be fully expressed. To start with your home dyes, be sure to add one teabag to each cup of cold water that you use, with one teaspoon of table salt for every 4 cups of water. Bring your water, salt, and teabags to a boil over the stove until the bright scarlet becomes a rich red. Now, follow below steps to dye your clothes:
- Rinse/wash your clothes that you wish to dye, first. Keep slightly damp after the wash.
- Remove the teabags from the mixture, replacing with your clothing items (tea-dyeing only works on natural fibres, so be selective with your clothing!)
- Let your clothing sit and ‘steep’ the tea mixture, occasionally moving the contents to ensure even distribution of dye. This can be anywhere within the realm of 1 hour to 1 day – depending on the deepness of the hue you wish to achieve.
- After your desired steeping – remove your clothing item from the mixture. Wring out gently to avoid any over-accumulation of dye in spots, and place in cold water with vinegar. For every cup of cold water, add ¼ teaspoon of neutral vinegar.
- Allow to air-dry/tumble dry until the material is not even slightly damp.
- Immediately iron the clothing to remove creases, and wrinkles.
- Start strutting your stuff!
Azarez, V. (2020, May 15). The best way to dye fabric with tea. Retrieved from LA Creative Mama: https://lacreativemama.com/best-way-dye-fabric-with-tea/
Tea’m, N. (2018, March 1). How-To: Rooibos Tea Dyed Yarn. Retrieved from Numi Tea: https://blog.numitea.com/rooibos-tea-dye-tutorial/#:~:text=STEP%203%3A%20In%20a%20separate,for%20each%20cup%20of%20water.